Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Yes, Virginia, the words we use DO matter

[After a 2 ½ page listing of gun-related slang, the author says this:] Colloquial British English has but a few words and phrases that refer to guns, violence, and killing. I’ve been told neither the French nor the Spanish languages employ such a large volume of violent terms in their every-day conversations.—America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, page 48


The words we use are not neutral. It’s commonplace to hear a family member say, “I’m so angry I could shoot you,” or “She made me so mad I could kill her.” Small children, the mentally ill, as well as intelligent, gentle people are influenced by such words. Could violence be so much a part of our culture that we are totally unaware of the explosive power of the words we speak?—America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, page 48

<idle musing>
Indeed. As I said before, metaphors and words influence how we react. Read Lakoff and Johnson's marvelous Metaphors We Live By. It's an eye-opener.
</idle musing>

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